Citizens For A Better Norwood

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An adventure with Time Warner customer service

Late Sunday afternoon, the Time Warner wireless internet service went out. Both cable TV boxes were in good working order. A call to Time Warner at 6:30 p.m. began an adventure in customer service that was nothing short of fascinating for all the conflicting information that was imparted. Is TW’s technology so complex and mysterious that their personnel are helpless to get on the same page about reported problems? Has anything like the following ever happened to you?

During the first call at 6:30 p.m., the customer service rep. stated there was no outage in the area and immediately transferred the call to a specialist of some sort. First, he checked to see if there was an outage and confirmed there was none. Next, he tested the Netgear modem (for the wireless internet service) and said he wasn’t receiving a signal from it. He instructed that it be unplugged so he could reset it. The reset didn’t fix the problem, so he diagnosed a faulty modem, issued a ticket number, and then transferred the call back to our local area with instructions to give the ticket number to the next technician so a service call could be made to repair or replace the Netgear modem.

The new technician checked to see if there was an outage in the area. He reported that, yes, there was one, although it wasn’t affecting the cable TV service. He stated others in the area were experiencing the same internet service problem. After being told the first technician had diagnosed a faulty Netgear modem, he said it was not the modem and that the outage might be repaired in the next 90 minutes.

Two hours later, the internet service was still out, so a call was placed to Time Warner for a status. The customer service rep. said there was no outage of any kind in the area. She was told about the first technician’s diagnosis of the modem problem and second technician‘s diagnosis of an outage.. She asked if the cable light on the Netgear modem was flashing or steady. It was flashing, so she confirmed that the modem was the problem because she was not receiving a signal from it. She scheduled a technician for a service call the following morning (yesterday) to fix the modem.

Early yesterday morning, oddly, neither TV was working for the first time during the internet crisis. A call to Time Warner customer service was made to report this new development. The customer service rep. said there was no outage in the area, that the cable TV problem was completely unrelated to the wireless internet problem, and that a second technician would have to come and repair it because the technician coming in just a few hours was authorized to work only on the internet service problem. Unfortunately, there would be no TV service for 5 days because the first available appointment to fix it wasn’t until this Friday. A $15 credit for the inconvenience was offered and accepted.

At 11:00 a.m. yesterday, the technician arrived on time to fix the internet problem. He was immediately told a short version of all the above. After 45 minutes of checking things both in and outside the house, he reported with a huge smile, “I’ve located the problem with the internet and the cable TV service, and it’s in the pole outside. A service person is on the way to fix it.” A grateful customer gave him a celebratory handshake, hoping and praying it was warranted. It was. By 4:30 p.m. both the internet and cable TV services were restored, and we’re back in the blogging business. After this experience, we think we''d better stick with Cincinnati Bell for phone service instead of switching to Time Warner for their cheaper monthly rate.